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Climate Change

43 Million Americans Under Heat Watch as Record-High Temperatures Hit the West Coast

About 43 million Americans are under an extreme heat warning and have been advised to remain indoors as record-high temperatures are predicted to reach the West Coast for Labor Day weekend.
Forecasters warned that a dangerous heat wave is heading for most of California, southern Nevada, and western Arizona over the next three days, with temperatures rising to up to 120 degrees.
California is bracing for what could be one of the hottest days in history, at a time when the Golden State is still under the control of hundreds of mammoth wildfires that have burned more than 1.5 million acres so far.
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There are increasing concerns that respite from extreme heat would be hard to come by as major utilities warn that rising energy demand for much-needed air-con-units would drive the power grid to the brink.
California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Thursday in attempts to maintain the state’s energy resources and avoid a repeat of the power outages seen last month when a heatwave in August caused thousands of homes to carry out blackouts.
For most of the Southwest, including Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California, the National Weather Service issued extreme heat warnings.
Sweltering temperatures are expected to be 20 to 25 degrees above average, with some areas likely to experience their hottest days ever.
According to NWS, the heat watches will start in the valleys and mountains on Friday before reaching the coastal areas on Saturday.
Los Angeles is expected to be one of the most affected areas, with temperatures rising as high as 120 degrees Sunday, while Phoenix and Las Vegas could see highs of around 117.
Hopes of cooler temperatures as night falls are reduced, with overnight lows in LA still expected in the 70s and 80s.
UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said to CNBC: ‘This heatwave across California is a major concern for me
‘In Central Valley [and] around parts of SoCal, record highs of all time are possible. More than one million acres are currently burning across NorCal, and we’re already in the midst of a pandemic.’ NWS LA warned residents that ‘all daytime outdoor activities should be reduced or canceled’ as concerns develop that lack of heat relief will cost lives.
It also warned of ‘significant stress on our power infrastructure [which] could result in power outages’
The California Independent Grid Operator, which manages the California power supply, has advised residents to conserve energy over the three-day weekend from 3 pm to 9 pm PST per day to help reduce the possibility of rolling blackouts.
It also asks utilities to delay maintenance on generating stations, so that all available power sources are ready for use.
The high temperatures spark worries about the possibility of even more wildfires, as some of the largest in its history continue to ravage the state, and emergency services are still struggling to get them under control.
Last month, wildfires erupted across California as the state experienced an extreme heatwave-a heatwave less dangerous than the one experts claim is on its way.
Before they were extinguished, more than 875 wildfires tore through the state sending thousands of people fleeing their homes.
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It also asks utilities to delay maintenance on generating stations, so that all available power sources are ready for use.
The high temperatures spark worries about the possibility of even more wildfires, as some of the largest in its history continue to ravage the state, and emergency services are still struggling to get them under control.
Last month, wildfires erupted across California as the state experienced an extreme heatwave-a heatwave less dangerous than the one experts claim is on its way.
Before they were extinguished, more than 875 wildfires tore through the state sending thousands of people fleeing their homes.

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